The final round of the 2012 National Series All Mountain Cup was held in Awaba on 2-4 March. It was a mudfest of a weekend. During our drive there, the rain came crashing down and it was a struggle to even get the car into the track.
First race of the weekend was a time trial around a 2 km XC loop. I kicked off my run strong, punching it through the first windy downhill section and began to smash along the single track loop to come across the line clocking in at 6:49 minutes. I finished in 3rd place behind Sid Taberlay (4.5 seconds) and Joshua Carlson (11 seconds). It was a great way to kick off the race and I was feeling strong.
The next day we made the trip up again for the main event of the weekend, the Olympic Cross Country. There was only one word for the conditions – Extreme. Even though the rain had stopped, the track was a mud bath which the riders would have to slog through to complete five laps. The start was hard with everyone fighting to get to the single track first so they could have clear vision. Everyone was struggling for traction. There was mud everywhere.
In the midst of such difficult conditions, I just tried to ride my own race. Most of the track was unrideable turning sections into a running race. I managed to finish in 6th place around 10 mins off the winner, Sid.
On the final day, I was looking forward to the last race: a point-to-point race 12 km loop. The race started with 7 km of fire road where the boys pushed hard through knee-deep puddles. While it had stopped raining, a lot of water still sat on the tracks. I had a good start and a strong first climb, which saw me push past Andy Blair and move into 4th position. This was until the next technical climb when a rider in front dismounted and forced me off as well. I was unable to remount the bike on this difficult climb and ended up running, Andy passed me and I was unable to close the gap again. I rode strong for the rest of the race and came through the finish 23 seconds off Andy who was crowned series champion! Congratulations to him!
This was my first season of racing at National Level and it’s been full of ups and downs. I am determined to crack the top 10 overall after placing 11th this year! For now, it’s onto the Real Insurance Marathon Series, ChocolateFoot and Rocky Trail Events with a few fun club races thrown in too! A big Thank You to MSC and Blackman bikes.
Looking forward to the year ahead on board my MSC Koncept.